Google has rolled out a series of updates to secure its G Suite from phishing attacks. G Suite, which includes Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Docs and Hangouts Chat, is a bunch of inter-linked productivity apps akin to Microsoft Office 365 and used mostly by enterprises.

Phishing is a common form of cyber attack, and as the name suggests, it is used to steal data from users by tricking users into sharing critical financial, personal or work related information. It usually targets people through email or messaging apps. Phishing attacks have been on the rise. According to online security company Kaspersky Labs, phishing attacks increased by 59% in 2017.

Here is how the latest security update by Google will bolster G Suite’s security.

Email

Google is turning to machine learning to identify billions of threat indicators so a phishing attack could be detected sooner. Google claims this will allow its anti-phishing tools to automatically flag emails from untrusted senders with encrypted attachments or embedded scripts sooner. It will also scan images for indicators of phishing attacks and expand shortened URLs to identify malicious links. Shortened URLs are hard to identify as they often do not have any of the elements of the original URL. Photos with hidden links have also been used to direct users to webpages with hidden malware.

Users will also be warned about emails sent from spoof employee names. So if someone tries to impersonate an employee and sends a phishing mail from an email ID which almost looks similar to the actual person’s email ID, the security tool will automatically move it to the spam folder and warm user.

Smartphone

Most professionals use smartphones to access G Suite. To ensure working in G Suite apps on smaller screen are as secure as on the desktop, Google is giving more controls to IT admins over employee smartphone.

IT admins can now see which mobile devices are accessing corporate data on G Suite. This will allow them to identify devices which have been hijacked, rooted or jailbroken and pose a security risk to the entire network. IT admins can also detect suspicious activity on any of the devices on G Suite network.

Shared data

The latest update also beefs up security of Team Drives, a shared cloud space on G Suite where members can store, search and access all data on a project. IT admins can now protect highly-sensitive data on Team Drives using Information Rights Management (IRM) controls. This means IT admins can now secure data from unauthorised access by encrypting them and only members with the right encryption key can access them. It prohibits anyone from anyone form copy-pasting, taking screenshots or printing that data without admin’s permission.

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